Iowa lawmakers move to shut out Carhart with fetal pain bill
DES MOINES, Iowa, December 10, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Iowa lawmakers are gearing up to follow Nebraska’s lead and pass a bill that would ban abortion on the basis of fetal pain. The move comes as a response to late-term abortionist Leroy Carhart’s plans to relocate some of his late-term abortion business from Nebraska just across the state border to Council Bluffs, Iowa.
The Nebraska law, which went into effect on October 15, bans abortions after 20 weeks of post-fertilization age on the basis that the unborn child feels pain definitely by that stage, if not earlier. Some research has even suggested that fetal pain may be more acute than it would be for older human beings, as the immature nervous system of the unborn child have not developed coping mechanisms.
Abortion advocates have not yet filed a legal challenge to the Nebraska law, likely in part due to uncertainty about how the U.S. Supreme Court would rule on the issue. Were the Court to rule in favor of the law, it could spell the end of the viability standard and replace it with a fetal pain standard, which would restrict abortion to about 20 weeks.
With Republicans having taken control of the Iowa House and narrowed the gap in the Senate, pro-life legislators are seeking to take advantage of the opportunity to pass pro-life legislation, with the immediate concern being Carhart.
“I’m taking on the fight of Dr. LeRoy Carhart to keep him out of my state,” Rep. Matt Windschitl, (R-Missouri Valley), who is helping to craft the proposed law, told the Associated Press.
Windschitl stressed that he wanted abortion abolished completely, but he thinks the fetal pain abortion ban is a good way to keep moving that agenda forward.
“At the end of the day, my personal agenda, and if I had a magic wand, one of the things I would do is to stop abortion in the state of Iowa,” continued Windschitl, “but it is a step-by-step process.”
Council Bluffs, where Carhart plans to relocate to escape the Nebraska law, is only about five miles from the abortionist’s former Nebraskan clinic. Recently the Council Bluffs city council voted that they would deny Carhart the opportunity to purchase a city-owned plot for his new clinic, but that does not stop him from purchasing private buildings to set up shop.
In the meantime the abortionist has already begun performing late-term abortions in Germantown, Maryland, a site he chose because of the state’s permissive abortion laws and its proximity to Washington, D.C.
On opening day at the Germantown facility, hundreds of pro-life advocates and Christian pastors gathered, pledging to pray for Carhart’s conversion, and to employ peaceful and legal means to oppose his deadly late-term abortion business.